Half-term is here and we’re holidaying at home. So, plenty of opportunities to be out beating the bounds then. Except when you’re at home it’s so easy to arrange to do all those things you would get done if only work didn’t get in the way. A brief window of opportunity presented itself between bringing one car back from a brake fluid replacement, and waiting at home for Autoglass to arrive and replace the windscreen in our other car.
The snowdrops in our drive have been flowering for a while now, but there are few signs of daffodils. My first port of call on this walk was the bank on Cove Road where, in the last two years, primroses have flowered early in February. I suspected that this year would be different after the prolonged cold snap we’ve had, and that proved to be the case.
From Cove Road I took paths up the hill towards Eaves Wood. The paths pass between and even through gardens. In one of them a kestrel glided away from a tree-roost as I passed. As usual I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to capture any images. However, in Eaves Wood I had much more luck with a local resident which I quite often see briefly, but have rarely managed to photograph…
This roe deer buck watched me for quite some time. I was able to move a little to get a clear, if distant, view. The light was poor but I tried the ‘available light’ setting on my camera which presumably ramps up the ISO setting. Even so – you can clearly see that the deer’s antlers have a covering of soft fur.
When this buck finally turned and disappeared into denser tree cover a doe followed, not lingering long enough for me to get a photo, but then a second doe appeared and this one paused, apparently to browse for food amongst the leaf litter.
I thought that this doe was smaller than the other two deer. She also seemed to be unaware of my presence. She rooted around by the base of the tree in the right of this photo and then, after standing up, crouched slightly and shook herself, just as a dog would after emerging from water.